Care of older adults is mired in misinformation, with most older patients and caregivers mistakenly believing that sharp declines in quality of life are inevitable, according to a new survey from The John A. Hartford Foundation (JAHF) and WebMD. Driving Towards Age-Friendly Care for the Future, a survey of more than 2,700 older patients and caregivers, found:
- More than 40% of respondents believe depression is an inevitable part of aging;
- Three in four older adults are not aware that they have the right to ask for, and receive, health care that is tailored to what matters to them;
- Nearly 40% of respondents did not know that some prescription medications can impact cognition.
The survey underscores the importance of the Age-Friendly Health Systems initiative, a national movement led by JAHF and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, in partnership with the American Hospital Association and the Catholic Health Association of the US, which is helping hospitals and health systems provide age-friendly care that focuses on the “4Ms.”
Capital Area Behavioral Health Collaborative (CABHC) is reintroducing a Peer Support scholarship initiative. CABHC will cover the cost to enroll in the Peer Support training class and have secured slots at each training session in Lebanon, PA. Qualified individuals who are interested in applying to receive a scholarship to attend the 10-day Peer Support training class in Lebanon, PA, should visit www.cabhc.org. Please see attached flyer for more information. Thank you.
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“The Distressing Growth of Wealth: Inequality of Boomers Gaps between the haves and have-nots, and what could shrink them” – next avenue
Credit: @taliamarie via Twenty20
by Richard Eisenberg
In her piercing new book Unbound: How Inequality Constricts Our Economy and What We Can Do About It, economist Heather Boushey writes: “The trend toward greater economic inequality continues its seemingly inexorable march.” Four recent studies — including one just out today — reveal that wealth inequality among boomers specifically has been growing, turning this massive generation into one of haves and have nots.
The nonpartisan reports, which analyzed boomers’ retirement security, financial assets and housing status, come from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO); the National Institute on Retirement Security think tank; the St. Louis Fed’s Center for Household Financial Stability and the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies.
Their key findings:
“Ellipses and emoji: How age affects communication at work”
One Friday afternoon, Stuart Horgan sent off a big presentation to his 56-year-old manager. “And he just responds, ‘Thanks … enjoy the weekend …’” Horgan, a millennial, said. “I definitely looked at the presentation for probably like six hours that weekend trying to figure out what was wrong with it.” In struggling to understand correspondence stripped of exclamation marks and smiley faces, Horgan is not alone. Older colleagues, meanwhile, are feeling similarly bothered by the writing conventions of people their junior. “OK, now you look like you’re 10,” said 48-year-old Alex Mahlke of emails packed with emoji. “Do we not have language anymore?” How to get over this workplace hurdle? Not in writing, that’s for sure.
by Ronnie Bennett
“Until about 18 months ago, most nights I slept for about four hours; five hours when I was lucky. There was a time, more than a decade ago, that an evening dose of melatonin kept me asleep for the more traditional seven or eight hours and I felt so much better then.
“But after a couple of years it stopped working.”
(Illustration by Matt Saunders for The Washington Post)
by Hawken Miller
“When Jackson Reece lost his arms and legs to sepsis after already being paralyzed, he thought his life was over. It was video games that brought him back.
There are many medications that can be used to treat mood disorders. But finding the right one can be a lengthy process, and the choice can be more complicated than you might imagine. Just because a particular drug worked for a friend doesn’t mean it will work for you. Psychiatrists and doctors who prescribe antidepressants choose a particular drug and dosage based on many factors, including the following:
- Diagnosis. Certain drugs are a better choice for specific symptoms and types of depression. For example, an antidepressant that makes you sleepy may be better when insomnia is an issue. The severity of your illness or the presence of anxiety, obsessions, or compulsions may also dictate the choice of one drug over another.
- Side effects. You may first want to choose a drug based on which side effect you most want to avoid. Medications vary in the likelihood they will cause such problems as sexual effects, weight gain, or sedation.
- Age. As you age, your body tends to break down drugs more slowly. Thus, older people may need a lower dose. For children, only a few medications have been studied carefully.
- Health. If you have certain health problems, it’s best to avoid certain drugs. For example, your doctor will want to consider factors such as heart disease or neurological illnesses when recommending a drug. For this reason, it’s important to discuss medical problems with a primary care doctor or psychiatrist before starting an antidepressant.
- Medications, supplements, and diet. When combined with certain drugs or substances, antidepressants may not work as well, or they may have worrisome or dangerous side effects. For example, combining an SSRI or another antidepressant with the herbal remedy St. John’s wort can boost serotonin to dangerous and, in rare cases, fatal levels. Mixing St. John’s wort with other drugs—including certain drugs to control HIV infection, cancer medications, and birth control pills—might lower their effectiveness. Women receiving tamoxifen for breast cancer should take an antidepressant that does not interfere with tamoxifen’s effectiveness. Eating certain foods, such as aged cheeses and cured meats, while taking an MAOI can cause a dangerous rise in blood pressure.
- Alcohol or drugs. Alcohol and other substances can cause depression and make antidepressants less effective. Doctors often treat alcohol or drug addiction first if they believe either is causing the depression. In many instances, simultaneous treatment for addiction and depression is warranted.
- Personal and family mental health and medication history. If you or a member of your family has had a good response to a medication in the past, that information may guide your choice. Depending on the nature and course of your depression (for example, if your depression is long-lasting or difficult to treat), you may need a higher dose or a combination of drugs. This may also be true if an antidepressant has stopped working for you, which may occur after you’ve used it for some time or after you’ve stopped and restarted treatment with it.
- Cost. Since all antidepressants are roughly equivalent in their effectiveness, you won’t lose anything by trying a generic version first.
- Your preference. Once you have learned as much as you can about the treatment options, your doctor will want to know what approach makes most sense given your lifestyle, your interests, and your judgment.
For more on diagnosing and finding the right treatment on the different types of depression, read Understanding Depression, a Special Health Report from Harvard Medical School.
SOURCE: Harvard Medical School
Self-Determination Housing Project Webinar Series: Assistance Animals Explained – October 17 at 2:30 PM
Do you have tenants, case workers, or other clientele that are requesting to have assistance animals in their unit? Do you work with clients who are having to interact with hesitant landlords because they have a service animal? If so, you might be wondering what rights tenants and landlords have when it comes to assistance animals. Tune in to our webinar, Assistance Animals Explained, to find out:
- What SDHP does and how you can use our services
- What a reasonable accommodation is
- And rights both landlords and tenants have when it comes to assistance animals
Webinar scheduled for October 17, 2019 from 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM ET
This training is recommended for landlords and property managers, autism service coordinators, mental health caseworkers, ID housing caseworkers, hospital liaisons, and other providers serving individuals with disabilities.
Register for the webinar here, and feel free to share this information with colleagues and those in your network who are interested in this topic.
**If you have any questions about the training or need to request a disability related accommodation, please contact SDHP @ firstname.lastname@example.org.